Money Diary: A 30-Year-Old Orthopaedic Surgeon In Glasgow On 65k

·27-min read

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.

As every person's financial situation is unique, going forward we're asking diarists to complete a series of financial-based questions to provide readers with more context to their relationship with money. Please remember before commenting that the diarists are from a range of backgrounds and cultures and their experience, education and mental relationship with money might be very different from yours. Money Diaries are designed to provide readers with diverse experiences of spending, saving and asking for more in the hope that by learning from each other, we can build a more positive financial future together.

This week: "I’m a 30-year-old orthopaedic surgery registrar (this is the grade below a consultant; I’m still classed as a trainee but I now do operations and run clinics by myself under supervision). I graduated from medical school six years ago and have been working full-time for the NHS since then. I’m currently single and haven’t had a relationship longer than four months for the last three years. Sometimes I’m really bothered about this, especially when all my friends seem to be living with their partners and getting married, but I also think I might want different things from my life. I’m interested in trauma surgery and am keen to work in war zones and disaster response in the future, which doesn’t exactly fit with stable family life.

After years of renting, I bought a flat in Bristol last year but I'm now in the process of selling it as I recently got a new job in Glasgow. I thought about letting it out for a while but I will be able to get so much more for my money in Scotland. For the time being, I will be living in a shared flat in Glasgow. This is the first time in years that I’m living with a stranger so I’m a bit anxious about how that’s going to go, especially having got used to being by myself."

Occupation: Surgeon
Industry: NHS
Age: 30
Location: Glasgow (moved up from Bristol last week to start a new job).
Salary: £65,000
Paycheque amount: £3,289
Number of housemates: One

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £977 on a mortgage in Bristol and £475 rent in Glasgow. This has only overlapped for one month. I’m hopeful I can complete the sale of my flat before I have to pay both again.
Loan payments: Student loan only, which comes out before my paycheque is issued.
Savings? £3,200 across various savings accounts, £5,006 in a cash ISA, £1,205 in a stocks and shares ISA, £2,189 in a lifetime ISA. Once I get the money from my flat sale I intend to lock it away in the highest interest account I can find and then start looking for somewhere to buy in Glasgow in a year or so.
Pension? Yes, NHS pension.
All other monthly expenses: Phone bill £15. £144 council tax (hopefully I won’t have to pay double for more than one month), £34.50 electricity, £25.50 Wi-Fi and £18 contact lenses. £800 car insurance (petrol is reimbursed from work). £800 yearly in professional fees and medical indemnity. Subscriptions: £10 Spotify Premium, £8.40 to an online orthopaedics encyclopaedia, £7.99 Amazon Prime, £30 a month to the World Food Programme, £50 Netflix (once a year or so to share my friend’s).

Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?

I always knew I would go to university. My undergraduate degree was six years and I took out student loans and my parents kindly paid for my accommodation throughout. The NHS paid my tuition fees for the last two years. I’m now about to start the second year of an MSc, which I’m doing part-time along with my full-time job. My last job had an academic component and I received part-funding through this but now I’m full-time clinical and paying the full year’s fees of £6,000 myself.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?

We rarely talked about money as a family. My dad was the sole earner for most of my childhood and I think money may have been tighter than I realised at points. Once I started earning I had a lot of questions for my parents about how best to save. I still rely on my parents for financial advice but I have also started getting more information from various sources on the internet.

If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?

I moved out at 24 after graduating.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?

I would probably say 24. My parents are still there for me when I do silly things like tie up too much money in savings I can’t access and can’t actually cover all of my mortgage deposit (yes, this did happen, it was very stressful. Always check the time remaining on your savings accounts!).

What was your first job and why did you get it?

I was a tour guide in a cave. I started when I was 16 and I think I just wanted some spending money. It seemed like a cool place to work and I carried on all through university holidays.

Do you worry about money now?


Usually I don't. I’m lucky to earn a good amount and have no dependents. However, everything is quite stressful at the moment with the move. So much money is tied up in the flat I’m selling and I’m living elsewhere so I have to pay double of everything.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?

I got £10,000 from my godmother five years ago. She gave each of her godchildren the same amount as our ‘inheritance’, which was extremely kind. I put the money towards my flat purchase.

<strong>Day One</strong><br> <br>6.45am: My alarm goes off for the start of my first full week at work in my new job. I have a quick shower, stir together some butter beans, spinach and pesto to have for lunch and make a flask of tea for the road. <br><br>8.15am: Step into the trauma meeting (where all the new orthopaedic admissions and the cases needing operations are discussed) after arriving at work and changing into scrubs. Although I thought I’d timed things perfectly the meeting’s already in full swing, which is embarrassing. Once upon a time this would have fazed me but I tell myself it’s fine and I can still walk in with confidence (and make a mental note to leave earlier tomorrow).<br><br>9am: Head down to the operating theatre where we have three hip fractures to fix today. Things are off to a slow start so I sit around listening to the scrub team discussing the various antics at a wedding most of them went to at the weekend.<br><br>1.30pm: Finish the first case, which turned out to be extremely complex. I do most of it but I have to get the consultant to do the difficult part. He’s very complimentary though so it’s okay! No time for lunch as one of the juniors asks me to come urgently to the ward to sort a patient out. The patient is fine but I’m now very much regretting the whole no breakfast thing. <br><br>2.15pm: It’s taken longer to sort the patient than I realised and I’m late back down to theatre; my consultant has already started and no one looks impressed. Whoops. I apologise, explain and act with confidence when I’m handed the scalpel. The next patient needs the same operation and it feels very validating when my consultant says he’s happy for me to do it without his help.<br><br>5.30pm: I go home via Tesco. I managed to have half my lunch just before the final case but I’m pretty hungry and go slightly overboard on food purchasing. Mostly fairly healthy stuff but I do give into the lure of Tunnock's teacakes (I’m in Scotland, after all) and eat two on the drive home. The full shop costs £16.76.<br><br>6.20pm: Decide to cook a stir fry and eat one portion while watching an episode of <em>Lovesick</em> on Netflix, which I thoroughly recommend. Briefly think about offering some to my flatmate but she’s not here and honestly, it’s not my best culinary work so I’ll leave the meal sharing to another day.<br><br>8pm: One episode has become several. I drag myself off the sofa to do the washing up before a bit of online shopping. I’m on a course next week and I think the dress code is smart casual, which isn’t something my wardrobe is full of. I spend a long time browsing before buying some new trousers from Uniqlo for £57.70. <br><br>9.45pm: I have a cup of vanilla rooibos tea in bed while I WhatsApp some friends.<br><br>10.30pm: I set an early alarm for the morning and head off to sleep.<br> <br><strong>Total: £74.46</strong>
Day One

6.45am: My alarm goes off for the start of my first full week at work in my new job. I have a quick shower, stir together some butter beans, spinach and pesto to have for lunch and make a flask of tea for the road.

8.15am: Step into the trauma meeting (where all the new orthopaedic admissions and the cases needing operations are discussed) after arriving at work and changing into scrubs. Although I thought I’d timed things perfectly the meeting’s already in full swing, which is embarrassing. Once upon a time this would have fazed me but I tell myself it’s fine and I can still walk in with confidence (and make a mental note to leave earlier tomorrow).

9am: Head down to the operating theatre where we have three hip fractures to fix today. Things are off to a slow start so I sit around listening to the scrub team discussing the various antics at a wedding most of them went to at the weekend.

1.30pm: Finish the first case, which turned out to be extremely complex. I do most of it but I have to get the consultant to do the difficult part. He’s very complimentary though so it’s okay! No time for lunch as one of the juniors asks me to come urgently to the ward to sort a patient out. The patient is fine but I’m now very much regretting the whole no breakfast thing.

2.15pm: It’s taken longer to sort the patient than I realised and I’m late back down to theatre; my consultant has already started and no one looks impressed. Whoops. I apologise, explain and act with confidence when I’m handed the scalpel. The next patient needs the same operation and it feels very validating when my consultant says he’s happy for me to do it without his help.

5.30pm: I go home via Tesco. I managed to have half my lunch just before the final case but I’m pretty hungry and go slightly overboard on food purchasing. Mostly fairly healthy stuff but I do give into the lure of Tunnock's teacakes (I’m in Scotland, after all) and eat two on the drive home. The full shop costs £16.76.

6.20pm: Decide to cook a stir fry and eat one portion while watching an episode of Lovesick on Netflix, which I thoroughly recommend. Briefly think about offering some to my flatmate but she’s not here and honestly, it’s not my best culinary work so I’ll leave the meal sharing to another day.

8pm: One episode has become several. I drag myself off the sofa to do the washing up before a bit of online shopping. I’m on a course next week and I think the dress code is smart casual, which isn’t something my wardrobe is full of. I spend a long time browsing before buying some new trousers from Uniqlo for £57.70.

9.45pm: I have a cup of vanilla rooibos tea in bed while I WhatsApp some friends.

10.30pm: I set an early alarm for the morning and head off to sleep.

Total: £74.46
<strong>Day Two</strong><br> <br>6.20am: Get up, shower and wash my hair. Learn from yesterday’s mistake and have breakfast before I leave the house (oats, Greek yoghurt, chopped hazelnuts and maple syrup).<br><br>8.10am: This meeting is meant to start at 8.15am but it looks like I didn’t get the memo that the consultant in charge this week likes to get going earlier. I’m one of (but not quite) the last to step in. I hate being late so this has annoyed me.<br><br>8.50am: In theatre we have a broken wrist and ankle to fix. I get so much satisfaction from fixing fractures, it’s amazing fitting the bones back together and seeing everything straighten out. We start with the wrist, with a side order of orthopaedic banter. It’s known as quite a laddish speciality and it’s common to still hear ‘that’s what she said’ jokes and the like around the department. Today, however, the comedy is provided by me and the contrast between my middle-class English accent and the broad Scots of the rest of the team is funny.<br><br>11.10am: I swapped the wrist for the ankle. My consultant’s tied up in clinic and tells me to just get started on the operation. I’ve never flown solo for this particular operation before but I know I’m capable of it. I get going and try not to let my nerves show in front of the scrub team and the junior trainee who’s watching me. <br><br>11.35am: I'm happy with where I’ve got to but I'm starting to get nervous about drilling (we love a power tool in orthopaedics) unsupervised. Just as I’m about to ask the team to call the consultant, he walks in. I swear they do this on purpose. The good trainers know exactly how long to leave you on your own to sweat. He likes what I’ve done so far and scrubs in to give me a hand.<br><br>1pm: There's nothing else on the list today so I do some paperwork sitting in the clinic office while eating the rest of my lunch from yesterday. The nurses ask me for a £20 contribution to the tea and biscuits fund, which I am very happy to provide. Unfortunately they want cash and the ATM in the hospital is broken. I promise it soon and proceed to have an illicit-feeling cup of tea and a custard cream.<br><br>4pm: The benefit of reaching my stage of surgical training is that I’m far more self-directed. I stay late pretty often so I can justify leaving work early and drive home listening to a podcast called <em>You’re Wrong About </em>which is fantastic.<br><br>4.40pm: I get home and chat to my flatmate, who works from home a few days a week. I realise the sun’s come out and I haven’t done any exercise this week apart from sweating in theatre so I go for a long walk. i wander down to the riverside and admire the city views before winding my way back home.<br><br>7pm: I have leftovers for dinner and watch more <em>Lovesick</em>. I decide to have a little browse of Hinge. I’m pretty much the only single one left from multiple friendship groups, which doesn’t feel great at times. I’m trying to stay positive about it as I like being able to do what I want. I’ve met most of my previous boyfriends through work but the pool is ever decreasing so it looks like online dating is the way forward, hurray. Manage to muster up some ice cream-based flirting with someone and send a few likes out into the ether.<br><br>8.45pm: Do a bit of studying for the next day and have a quick FaceTime with a friend who’s just got a new puppy.<br><br>9.30pm: Time for an early night (with another Hinge session before I go to sleep – this is addictive).<br> <br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Two

6.20am: Get up, shower and wash my hair. Learn from yesterday’s mistake and have breakfast before I leave the house (oats, Greek yoghurt, chopped hazelnuts and maple syrup).

8.10am: This meeting is meant to start at 8.15am but it looks like I didn’t get the memo that the consultant in charge this week likes to get going earlier. I’m one of (but not quite) the last to step in. I hate being late so this has annoyed me.

8.50am: In theatre we have a broken wrist and ankle to fix. I get so much satisfaction from fixing fractures, it’s amazing fitting the bones back together and seeing everything straighten out. We start with the wrist, with a side order of orthopaedic banter. It’s known as quite a laddish speciality and it’s common to still hear ‘that’s what she said’ jokes and the like around the department. Today, however, the comedy is provided by me and the contrast between my middle-class English accent and the broad Scots of the rest of the team is funny.

11.10am: I swapped the wrist for the ankle. My consultant’s tied up in clinic and tells me to just get started on the operation. I’ve never flown solo for this particular operation before but I know I’m capable of it. I get going and try not to let my nerves show in front of the scrub team and the junior trainee who’s watching me.

11.35am: I'm happy with where I’ve got to but I'm starting to get nervous about drilling (we love a power tool in orthopaedics) unsupervised. Just as I’m about to ask the team to call the consultant, he walks in. I swear they do this on purpose. The good trainers know exactly how long to leave you on your own to sweat. He likes what I’ve done so far and scrubs in to give me a hand.

1pm: There's nothing else on the list today so I do some paperwork sitting in the clinic office while eating the rest of my lunch from yesterday. The nurses ask me for a £20 contribution to the tea and biscuits fund, which I am very happy to provide. Unfortunately they want cash and the ATM in the hospital is broken. I promise it soon and proceed to have an illicit-feeling cup of tea and a custard cream.

4pm: The benefit of reaching my stage of surgical training is that I’m far more self-directed. I stay late pretty often so I can justify leaving work early and drive home listening to a podcast called You’re Wrong About which is fantastic.

4.40pm: I get home and chat to my flatmate, who works from home a few days a week. I realise the sun’s come out and I haven’t done any exercise this week apart from sweating in theatre so I go for a long walk. i wander down to the riverside and admire the city views before winding my way back home.

7pm: I have leftovers for dinner and watch more Lovesick. I decide to have a little browse of Hinge. I’m pretty much the only single one left from multiple friendship groups, which doesn’t feel great at times. I’m trying to stay positive about it as I like being able to do what I want. I’ve met most of my previous boyfriends through work but the pool is ever decreasing so it looks like online dating is the way forward, hurray. Manage to muster up some ice cream-based flirting with someone and send a few likes out into the ether.

8.45pm: Do a bit of studying for the next day and have a quick FaceTime with a friend who’s just got a new puppy.

9.30pm: Time for an early night (with another Hinge session before I go to sleep – this is addictive).

Total: £0
<strong>Day Three</strong><br> <br>6.45am: I get up, have a quick shower and have the same breakfast as yesterday. It’s a beautiful morning and I thoroughly enjoy the drive through some quintessential Scottish moorland to get to the hospital. <br><br>8am: Make it to the meeting before it starts! Success. Get quizzed about the fractures that have come in. My studying last night has paid off.<br><br>8.50am: Another day, another operating list. We kick off with a child who’s broken both the bones in her forearm. It’s meant to be a simple case, straightening the fractures out while she’s asleep and then putting a cast on, but the fracture’s too wobbly and we have to put some metalwork in. It’s really challenging and a 20-minute case turns into two hours of pushing and pulling.<br><br>11am: The ATM is working and I really want a cup of tea and a biscuit so I pay my £20 to the nurses in clinic.<br><br>11.30am: I'm still waiting for the next case so I message some friends in London about activities to do with them next week. I’m flying down for a course as part of my MSc and I’m excited to be there now that everything has opened up. We buy tickets for <em>Twelfth Night</em> at the Globe for three of us, £17.50. I also arrange to see a Proms performance with a different friend, £24. <br><br>2pm: Eat another lot of dinner leftovers for lunch in between cases. I’m really enjoying this week of operating as I feel like I’m bonding well with the consultant and learning a lot. <br><br>5.30pm: Time to head home. It’s a glorious evening and I get a thrill going over a hill on the motorway and seeing Glasgow spread out in front of me. I manage to get home for the first time since starting last week without using my sat nav, which feels good as well.<br><br>6.10pm: I've arranged a night in with my flatmate. We’ve not spent a huge amount of time together yet and we’re still treading quite delicately around each other so it’s good to have an evening to bond. We split the cost of a Chinese takeaway, £10, and chat about life, bills and the ways in which men are terrible while we eat. We sort out some standing orders and start watching <em>This Way Up</em>, which is great. <br><br>10pm: Bedtime! Do a little online shopping from bed (awful habit) and order a dress from Joy for £59.<br> <br><strong>Total:</strong> <strong>£130.50</strong>
Day Three

6.45am: I get up, have a quick shower and have the same breakfast as yesterday. It’s a beautiful morning and I thoroughly enjoy the drive through some quintessential Scottish moorland to get to the hospital.

8am: Make it to the meeting before it starts! Success. Get quizzed about the fractures that have come in. My studying last night has paid off.

8.50am: Another day, another operating list. We kick off with a child who’s broken both the bones in her forearm. It’s meant to be a simple case, straightening the fractures out while she’s asleep and then putting a cast on, but the fracture’s too wobbly and we have to put some metalwork in. It’s really challenging and a 20-minute case turns into two hours of pushing and pulling.

11am: The ATM is working and I really want a cup of tea and a biscuit so I pay my £20 to the nurses in clinic.

11.30am: I'm still waiting for the next case so I message some friends in London about activities to do with them next week. I’m flying down for a course as part of my MSc and I’m excited to be there now that everything has opened up. We buy tickets for Twelfth Night at the Globe for three of us, £17.50. I also arrange to see a Proms performance with a different friend, £24.

2pm: Eat another lot of dinner leftovers for lunch in between cases. I’m really enjoying this week of operating as I feel like I’m bonding well with the consultant and learning a lot.

5.30pm: Time to head home. It’s a glorious evening and I get a thrill going over a hill on the motorway and seeing Glasgow spread out in front of me. I manage to get home for the first time since starting last week without using my sat nav, which feels good as well.

6.10pm: I've arranged a night in with my flatmate. We’ve not spent a huge amount of time together yet and we’re still treading quite delicately around each other so it’s good to have an evening to bond. We split the cost of a Chinese takeaway, £10, and chat about life, bills and the ways in which men are terrible while we eat. We sort out some standing orders and start watching This Way Up, which is great.

10pm: Bedtime! Do a little online shopping from bed (awful habit) and order a dress from Joy for £59.

Total: £130.50
<strong>Day Four</strong><br> <br>6.20am: Get up early again to wash my hair and try and arrive early. Put some tea in a travel mug and scoff a couple of pieces of toast in the car.<br><br>8am: I manage to beat the consultant to the morning meeting – a small win. <br><br>9.10am: Start the operating list. It’s my fourth day of all-day operating and I’m starting to feel a bit tired. Unfortunately I’m also on call tonight so it’ll be a late finish. I get to go home but I have to be available to be phoned about emergencies and prepared to drive back to the hospital at any time overnight.<br><br>12.15pm: First case done. I do some jobs on the ward, then grab lunch from the canteen. I’m craving a salad but this is the country of deep-fried Mars bars and macaroni pies and the healthy choices are fairly limited. Opt for a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich for £1.65 instead and only realise that’s two bread-based meals in a row after I’ve eaten it. Good thing bread is delicious. <br><br>1.20pm: My final case of the week is a really tough one but I feel like it’s a joint effort between me and the consultant, which represents quite a step up for me. Learning to operate is really like an apprenticeship and a year ago I don’t think I would have had the knowledge or skills to contribute much in this situation so it’s nice to see progress. <br><br>4.30pm: Have a cup of tea while I wait to take over the on-call shift at 5pm. This involves seeing the new patients who have been referred to orthopaedics. I take a brief handover from the registrar who was on during the day and see a referral with one of the more junior doctors. It’s not hugely busy so I offer to do some stitching in the emergency department to help out the doctors down there.<br><br>9pm: I hand over to the night team. I’m still on call but in this hospital it really is 'on call'. I’m expected to go home while the juniors cover the routine stuff overnight but I have to be available to give advice and come back in at a moment’s notice if I’m needed for an emergency. I drive back to Glasgow after giving my phone number to the junior doctor covering the night shift and putting my phone on loud.<br><br>9.35pm: Get back home and heat up my share of the leftover Chinese. Feel bad about the lack of vitamins I’ve consumed today so stir some frozen peas through the fried rice – an enjoyable addition.<br><br>10.15pm: Go to bed, double and triple checking my phone is working. I feel a bit anxious about being a half-hour drive from the hospital if anything should happen but I don’t get called once overnight.<br><br><strong>Total: £1.65</strong>
Day Four

6.20am: Get up early again to wash my hair and try and arrive early. Put some tea in a travel mug and scoff a couple of pieces of toast in the car.

8am: I manage to beat the consultant to the morning meeting – a small win.

9.10am: Start the operating list. It’s my fourth day of all-day operating and I’m starting to feel a bit tired. Unfortunately I’m also on call tonight so it’ll be a late finish. I get to go home but I have to be available to be phoned about emergencies and prepared to drive back to the hospital at any time overnight.

12.15pm: First case done. I do some jobs on the ward, then grab lunch from the canteen. I’m craving a salad but this is the country of deep-fried Mars bars and macaroni pies and the healthy choices are fairly limited. Opt for a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich for £1.65 instead and only realise that’s two bread-based meals in a row after I’ve eaten it. Good thing bread is delicious.

1.20pm: My final case of the week is a really tough one but I feel like it’s a joint effort between me and the consultant, which represents quite a step up for me. Learning to operate is really like an apprenticeship and a year ago I don’t think I would have had the knowledge or skills to contribute much in this situation so it’s nice to see progress.

4.30pm: Have a cup of tea while I wait to take over the on-call shift at 5pm. This involves seeing the new patients who have been referred to orthopaedics. I take a brief handover from the registrar who was on during the day and see a referral with one of the more junior doctors. It’s not hugely busy so I offer to do some stitching in the emergency department to help out the doctors down there.

9pm: I hand over to the night team. I’m still on call but in this hospital it really is 'on call'. I’m expected to go home while the juniors cover the routine stuff overnight but I have to be available to give advice and come back in at a moment’s notice if I’m needed for an emergency. I drive back to Glasgow after giving my phone number to the junior doctor covering the night shift and putting my phone on loud.

9.35pm: Get back home and heat up my share of the leftover Chinese. Feel bad about the lack of vitamins I’ve consumed today so stir some frozen peas through the fried rice – an enjoyable addition.

10.15pm: Go to bed, double and triple checking my phone is working. I feel a bit anxious about being a half-hour drive from the hospital if anything should happen but I don’t get called once overnight.

Total: £1.65
<strong>Day Five</strong><br> <br>6.20am: I wake up early and skip breakfast to go in and catch up on the events from overnight. It turns out it was very quiet and there’s nothing to catch up on.<br><br>7am: Send some messages to my old colleagues, marvelling at the change of pace from my last hospital.<br><br>9am: Time for clinic. See 14 patients and I'm absolutely shattered by the end. It’s still a bit of a struggle navigating a new system but I get to grips with things eventually.<br><br>1.30pm: I'm finally done for the week. I run to the car in pouring rain and head home via Sainsbury’s for some essentials. I get milk, popcorn, grapes and non-alcoholic beer. £5.81 <br><br>3.30pm: There was terrible traffic so only just home. I have some lentil soup for lunch, put on a load of washing and try on the trousers that have arrived from Uniqlo. Love one pair, hate the other two so will be sending them back. I should get £33.70 back for that. <br><br>3.45pm: I decide to lie down on my bed for 10 minutes. Before I know it I’ve been asleep for nearly two hours.<br><br>5.30pm: I chat to my flatmate for a while before she heads to her sister’s for the night. The sun has come out and I decide to go for my first run in about a year. Not sure why this urge has come over me and it’s a bit painful and involves a fair bit of walking but I’m glad I do it. It’s nice to see the city a bit more and I feel good about myself when I get back.<br><br>7pm: I do a YouTube arms workout. Orthopaedics is very physical and while you don’t have to be super strong (as a previous consultant told me, it’s more important that you use your brain and make the instruments work for you), it does make the work easier. There’s also definitely a desire to keep up with the boys so I’ve been working hard to improve my arm strength and I’m happy with my progress over the last few months. I’ve upgraded my weights and I’m enjoying not struggling as much in theatre.<br><br>7.20pm: I feel I’ve definitely earned my dinner. Craving both carbs and vitamins after a fairly unhealthy week so I make pesto pasta with courgette, spinach, peas and homegrown tomatoes and basil. <br><br>7.30pm: Take a quick shower while it’s cooking and then settle in on the sofa to eat it in my pyjamas with a beer and a movie. I choose <em>The Firm</em> on Netflix, which is an old Tom Cruise thriller. I watch it with half an eye on Hinge. Ice cream boy is a keen responder, which always puts me off a little. This is probably why I’m still single, isn’t it?<br><br>11.10pm: That was a very long film. Load up the dishwasher and head to bed after some WhatsApping with a friend down in Bristol who’s on a night shift. Feel smug that I can do my nights from home at the moment.<br> <br><strong>Total: £5.81</strong>
Day Five

6.20am: I wake up early and skip breakfast to go in and catch up on the events from overnight. It turns out it was very quiet and there’s nothing to catch up on.

7am: Send some messages to my old colleagues, marvelling at the change of pace from my last hospital.

9am: Time for clinic. See 14 patients and I'm absolutely shattered by the end. It’s still a bit of a struggle navigating a new system but I get to grips with things eventually.

1.30pm: I'm finally done for the week. I run to the car in pouring rain and head home via Sainsbury’s for some essentials. I get milk, popcorn, grapes and non-alcoholic beer. £5.81

3.30pm: There was terrible traffic so only just home. I have some lentil soup for lunch, put on a load of washing and try on the trousers that have arrived from Uniqlo. Love one pair, hate the other two so will be sending them back. I should get £33.70 back for that.

3.45pm: I decide to lie down on my bed for 10 minutes. Before I know it I’ve been asleep for nearly two hours.

5.30pm: I chat to my flatmate for a while before she heads to her sister’s for the night. The sun has come out and I decide to go for my first run in about a year. Not sure why this urge has come over me and it’s a bit painful and involves a fair bit of walking but I’m glad I do it. It’s nice to see the city a bit more and I feel good about myself when I get back.

7pm: I do a YouTube arms workout. Orthopaedics is very physical and while you don’t have to be super strong (as a previous consultant told me, it’s more important that you use your brain and make the instruments work for you), it does make the work easier. There’s also definitely a desire to keep up with the boys so I’ve been working hard to improve my arm strength and I’m happy with my progress over the last few months. I’ve upgraded my weights and I’m enjoying not struggling as much in theatre.

7.20pm: I feel I’ve definitely earned my dinner. Craving both carbs and vitamins after a fairly unhealthy week so I make pesto pasta with courgette, spinach, peas and homegrown tomatoes and basil.

7.30pm: Take a quick shower while it’s cooking and then settle in on the sofa to eat it in my pyjamas with a beer and a movie. I choose The Firm on Netflix, which is an old Tom Cruise thriller. I watch it with half an eye on Hinge. Ice cream boy is a keen responder, which always puts me off a little. This is probably why I’m still single, isn’t it?

11.10pm: That was a very long film. Load up the dishwasher and head to bed after some WhatsApping with a friend down in Bristol who’s on a night shift. Feel smug that I can do my nights from home at the moment.

Total: £5.81
<strong>Day Six</strong><br> <br>6.45am: I wake up early by force of habit and fall asleep again listening to a podcast in bed.<br><br>9.15am: Accidentally slept slightly longer than planned. Make a cup of tea and jump in the shower.<br><br>10.10am: Plan to meet a friend for brunch. She’s someone I was talking to on SpareRoom before moving to Glasgow. It didn’t work out timing-wise with the flat but she seems really great and she promised to help me eat my way around the West End which is ideal. We wander down to the main road and I grab us a delicious Vietnamese coffee for £6 and she buys us a little pastry from the shop next door.<br><br>11am: We realise despite the intense sugar rush we’re still hungry and head to another place for breakfast round two. I have eggs, avocado and crispy ham on sourdough for £7. <br><br>12.30pm: Get back home. I have an hour or so to organise some of my room before loading up the car with my paddleboard and wetsuit. I’m meeting a friend at a loch near Glasgow for a paddle and luckily the sun seems to have come out! My SUP was a present to myself when I got onto the orthopaedic surgery training programme. It’s very competitive and I thought I deserved to treat myself. I've definitely used this excuse to buy a lot of things in that time period.<br><br>2pm: Meet my pal, an old university friend who is living in Edinburgh. I’m very excited to be closer to her now and we’ve decided to spend as many weekends as we can paddling the lochs in between us. It’s turned into a glorious day and we spend a fabulous couple of hours on the water before both driving back to Glasgow.<br><br>5pm: Have a cup of tea together back at the flat. We chat about our upcoming weeks and I remember that I need to add hold luggage to my flight. It's £21.50 on the way out so I’ll add for the return nearer the time.<br><br>5.40pm: We saunter into town for a pizza with my flatmate. We’ve picked a popular place that doesn’t take bookings so there’s a 45-minute wait. We decide to sit in a bar close by and have a drink first. It’s app-based ordering and I pay for my glass of wine and a Diet Coke for my Edinburgh pal as she’s driving back tonight. £7.45<br><br>7.10pm: The table’s ready and the service is incredibly quick so I’m eating pizza before I know it. I have another glass of wine and we all share a burrata. The total bill is only £11 a head, which is amazing. I even take some pizza home for tomorrow as it’s huge. We decide to walk back to the flat as it’s still a lovely evening.<br><br>9.20pm: I say goodbye to my friend and have a cup of rooibos tea in front of <em>This Way Up</em> with my flatmate. I'm still really enjoying it but I’m exhausted from a busy week so we make the sensible decision not to watch a second episode and head to bed.<br><br>10pm: Hinge session in bed. I’ve been putting off replying to Ice Cream Man as I found him a little intense but I think I need to start scheduling some dates rather than penpalling so I cut to the chase and ask what his schedule is like when I’m back from London. I also start chatting to an Irish guy who likes reading (I swear almost everyone in Glasgow is Irish!) and someone else who’s also recently moved to the city. It's good to have options I think.<br><br><strong>Total:</strong> <strong>£52.95</strong>
Day Six

6.45am: I wake up early by force of habit and fall asleep again listening to a podcast in bed.

9.15am: Accidentally slept slightly longer than planned. Make a cup of tea and jump in the shower.

10.10am: Plan to meet a friend for brunch. She’s someone I was talking to on SpareRoom before moving to Glasgow. It didn’t work out timing-wise with the flat but she seems really great and she promised to help me eat my way around the West End which is ideal. We wander down to the main road and I grab us a delicious Vietnamese coffee for £6 and she buys us a little pastry from the shop next door.

11am: We realise despite the intense sugar rush we’re still hungry and head to another place for breakfast round two. I have eggs, avocado and crispy ham on sourdough for £7.

12.30pm: Get back home. I have an hour or so to organise some of my room before loading up the car with my paddleboard and wetsuit. I’m meeting a friend at a loch near Glasgow for a paddle and luckily the sun seems to have come out! My SUP was a present to myself when I got onto the orthopaedic surgery training programme. It’s very competitive and I thought I deserved to treat myself. I've definitely used this excuse to buy a lot of things in that time period.

2pm: Meet my pal, an old university friend who is living in Edinburgh. I’m very excited to be closer to her now and we’ve decided to spend as many weekends as we can paddling the lochs in between us. It’s turned into a glorious day and we spend a fabulous couple of hours on the water before both driving back to Glasgow.

5pm: Have a cup of tea together back at the flat. We chat about our upcoming weeks and I remember that I need to add hold luggage to my flight. It's £21.50 on the way out so I’ll add for the return nearer the time.

5.40pm: We saunter into town for a pizza with my flatmate. We’ve picked a popular place that doesn’t take bookings so there’s a 45-minute wait. We decide to sit in a bar close by and have a drink first. It’s app-based ordering and I pay for my glass of wine and a Diet Coke for my Edinburgh pal as she’s driving back tonight. £7.45

7.10pm: The table’s ready and the service is incredibly quick so I’m eating pizza before I know it. I have another glass of wine and we all share a burrata. The total bill is only £11 a head, which is amazing. I even take some pizza home for tomorrow as it’s huge. We decide to walk back to the flat as it’s still a lovely evening.

9.20pm: I say goodbye to my friend and have a cup of rooibos tea in front of This Way Up with my flatmate. I'm still really enjoying it but I’m exhausted from a busy week so we make the sensible decision not to watch a second episode and head to bed.

10pm: Hinge session in bed. I’ve been putting off replying to Ice Cream Man as I found him a little intense but I think I need to start scheduling some dates rather than penpalling so I cut to the chase and ask what his schedule is like when I’m back from London. I also start chatting to an Irish guy who likes reading (I swear almost everyone in Glasgow is Irish!) and someone else who’s also recently moved to the city. It's good to have options I think.

Total: £52.95
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br><em> <br></em>7.30am: Wake up, make a cup of tea and take it back to bed. I check my Hinge for replies and then browse the <em>Guardian</em> website for the morning’s news. I read an article about the plight of female journalists under the Taliban and donate £10 to a related charity via a link in the article.<br><br>8.30am: I get a text from an old flatmate who happens to be up in Glasgow for the weekend. She’s having lunch at a restaurant near Loch Lomond with some of her friends and wants to introduce me. I seize the opportunity to make some more friends up here and arrange to get the train there with them.<br><br>9.40am: Head out for a run, forgetting that I’ve arranged to Zoom some friends at 10am. I'm in the zone so ignore my phone buzzing.<br><br>10.15am: I log onto the Zoom call and apologise for my lateness and sweatiness. Get lost walking back to my flat while on the call so my friends get an inadvertent tour of Glasgow as well.<br><br>11am: I shower and get ready to catch the train to Loch Lomond. I have a bit of time to spare so I start packing for my two-week trip to London. It feels wrong to be leaving my new city when I’ve only just moved but it should be a great course and it’ll be good to see London friends as well.<br><br>12.20pm: I head to the local train station and buy a return ticket for £5.30. Meet the others on the train and try to make some new Glasgow friends! Get some good restaurant and spin class suggestions, so that’s a start.<br><br>1.05pm: The train arrives and we walk down to the loch. It has a bit of an amusement arcade vibe at first, which is unexpected, but further down it’s so beautiful and we take our time wandering round. Feel lucky to have had some amazing days in the Scottish countryside this weekend.<br><br>2.10pm: Arrive at the restaurant for lunch. Our table has an incredible view out over the water. I order a Diet Coke and linguine with a creamy shellfish sauce to fit the beach vibe. Spend most of the meal chatting to my existing friend rather than mingling but we haven’t seen each other for over a year so lots to catch up on. <br><br>4pm: I realise the train back to Glasgow is in half an hour and it’s over 20 minutes’ walk to the station so we hurriedly ask for the bill. My friend pays for everyone to save time, saying we can sort it out on the train.<br><br>4.30pm: Make it just in time! Bank my friend £17.05 after we split the bill.<br><br>5.15pm: Say my goodbyes as it’s my stop. Not entirely sure I’ve laid enough groundwork for future friendships but it’s been a lovely afternoon.<br><br>5.30pm: Get back to the flat and make a cup of tea to drink while I finish my packing. It feels like I’m going on holiday. I'm even quite excited to be spending some time in an airport after 18 months without really travelling. I remember my leftover pizza but I’m still full from a late lunch so I parcel it up to eat at the airport.<br><br>7pm: I set off with my suitcase to get the bus to the airport. It’s a 20-minute walk with quite a few sets of steps to lug my case up and down so I’m treating this as today’s arms workout. <br><br>7.30pm: The bus is late. I start looking for hugely expensive taxis as I’m beginning to panic but I hold off just long enough and it arrives! The ticket costs £5.40 for a single but I’m viewing it as saving what would have been an expensive Uber.<br><br>8.15pm: I arrive at the airport. It's so empty and I only have to wait a couple of minutes to check in my luggage. Annoyingly, they’re already flagging my flight as delayed so I kill some time in WHSmith. They’ve got a pretty good book selection for an airport and I end up buying two novels on the buy one, get one free deal. £13.48 <br><br>9.50pm: I finally get onto the plane half an hour late. I start one of my new books while we wait to take off and then switch to Netflix when we’re in the air. I’ve downloaded <em>The Serpent</em> to watch this week, it’s kind of terrifying but seems good and I’m very much here for the '70s fashion.<br><br>11.15pm: I head to my hotel much later than planned after the delays and a long wait at the baggage carousel. Unfortunately this means there’s much less in the way of public transport than I anticipated and my planned 45-minute journey on the Tube has become two hours by train then night bus. £10.25 <br><br>1.30am: I finally make it to the hotel. Luckily it’s an afternoon start to the course tomorrow so I turn off my alarms, get my eye mask on and settle into bed for a long sleep.<br> <br><strong>Total: £61.48</strong>
Day Seven

7.30am: Wake up, make a cup of tea and take it back to bed. I check my Hinge for replies and then browse the Guardian website for the morning’s news. I read an article about the plight of female journalists under the Taliban and donate £10 to a related charity via a link in the article.

8.30am: I get a text from an old flatmate who happens to be up in Glasgow for the weekend. She’s having lunch at a restaurant near Loch Lomond with some of her friends and wants to introduce me. I seize the opportunity to make some more friends up here and arrange to get the train there with them.

9.40am: Head out for a run, forgetting that I’ve arranged to Zoom some friends at 10am. I'm in the zone so ignore my phone buzzing.

10.15am: I log onto the Zoom call and apologise for my lateness and sweatiness. Get lost walking back to my flat while on the call so my friends get an inadvertent tour of Glasgow as well.

11am: I shower and get ready to catch the train to Loch Lomond. I have a bit of time to spare so I start packing for my two-week trip to London. It feels wrong to be leaving my new city when I’ve only just moved but it should be a great course and it’ll be good to see London friends as well.

12.20pm: I head to the local train station and buy a return ticket for £5.30. Meet the others on the train and try to make some new Glasgow friends! Get some good restaurant and spin class suggestions, so that’s a start.

1.05pm: The train arrives and we walk down to the loch. It has a bit of an amusement arcade vibe at first, which is unexpected, but further down it’s so beautiful and we take our time wandering round. Feel lucky to have had some amazing days in the Scottish countryside this weekend.

2.10pm: Arrive at the restaurant for lunch. Our table has an incredible view out over the water. I order a Diet Coke and linguine with a creamy shellfish sauce to fit the beach vibe. Spend most of the meal chatting to my existing friend rather than mingling but we haven’t seen each other for over a year so lots to catch up on.

4pm: I realise the train back to Glasgow is in half an hour and it’s over 20 minutes’ walk to the station so we hurriedly ask for the bill. My friend pays for everyone to save time, saying we can sort it out on the train.

4.30pm: Make it just in time! Bank my friend £17.05 after we split the bill.

5.15pm: Say my goodbyes as it’s my stop. Not entirely sure I’ve laid enough groundwork for future friendships but it’s been a lovely afternoon.

5.30pm: Get back to the flat and make a cup of tea to drink while I finish my packing. It feels like I’m going on holiday. I'm even quite excited to be spending some time in an airport after 18 months without really travelling. I remember my leftover pizza but I’m still full from a late lunch so I parcel it up to eat at the airport.

7pm: I set off with my suitcase to get the bus to the airport. It’s a 20-minute walk with quite a few sets of steps to lug my case up and down so I’m treating this as today’s arms workout.

7.30pm: The bus is late. I start looking for hugely expensive taxis as I’m beginning to panic but I hold off just long enough and it arrives! The ticket costs £5.40 for a single but I’m viewing it as saving what would have been an expensive Uber.

8.15pm: I arrive at the airport. It's so empty and I only have to wait a couple of minutes to check in my luggage. Annoyingly, they’re already flagging my flight as delayed so I kill some time in WHSmith. They’ve got a pretty good book selection for an airport and I end up buying two novels on the buy one, get one free deal. £13.48

9.50pm: I finally get onto the plane half an hour late. I start one of my new books while we wait to take off and then switch to Netflix when we’re in the air. I’ve downloaded The Serpent to watch this week, it’s kind of terrifying but seems good and I’m very much here for the '70s fashion.

11.15pm: I head to my hotel much later than planned after the delays and a long wait at the baggage carousel. Unfortunately this means there’s much less in the way of public transport than I anticipated and my planned 45-minute journey on the Tube has become two hours by train then night bus. £10.25

1.30am: I finally make it to the hotel. Luckily it’s an afternoon start to the course tomorrow so I turn off my alarms, get my eye mask on and settle into bed for a long sleep.

Total: £61.48
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br> <br>Food & Drink: £102.72<br>Entertainment: £54.98<br>Clothes & Beauty: £116.70<br>Home & Health: £0<br>Travel: £42.45<br>Other: £10<br><br><strong>Total:</strong> <strong>£326.85</strong><br> <br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br><br>"This was a slightly abnormal week for me as I spent more on travel than usual, going down to London, and lots of my weekend socialising was over food. I wouldn’t usually go out for three meals in a weekend (maybe two…) but it’s difficult being in a new city! I'm making an effort to buy fewer new clothes and I know I probably don’t need to really buy anything more for quite a while. The events in the news kind of put things into perspective for me and I think I could definitely consider upping my regular charity spend."
The Breakdown

Food & Drink: £102.72
Entertainment: £54.98
Clothes & Beauty: £116.70
Home & Health: £0
Travel: £42.45
Other: £10

Total: £326.85

Conclusion

"This was a slightly abnormal week for me as I spent more on travel than usual, going down to London, and lots of my weekend socialising was over food. I wouldn’t usually go out for three meals in a weekend (maybe two…) but it’s difficult being in a new city! I'm making an effort to buy fewer new clothes and I know I probably don’t need to really buy anything more for quite a while. The events in the news kind of put things into perspective for me and I think I could definitely consider upping my regular charity spend."

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